Glen Island is a right bank weir Island extending from halfway down Grass Eyot, to the weir, well above Boulters Lock, and to the Jubilee River entrance. It's far side is the Jubilee River.
Taplow Conservation Area
Taplow Court is a large house on the Right (east) bank,
opposite one hundred yards below Boulters Lock, now home to a Buddist Society,
open to public Sundays and Bank Holidays in Summer.
Picnic in 85 acres of grounds.
Taplow Court website -
Taplow Court, a mid 19th century mansion set high above the Thames near Maidenhead,
is the home of SGI-UK, a lay Buddhist society.
SGI-UK ... aims to contribute to a more peaceful and harmonious world through educational and cultural activities ...
The Taplow site has a long history of continuous human habitation. In the Iron Age a massive hillfort covered the site and the famous 7th century Anglo-Saxon burial mound can still be seen in the garden. There has been a manor house here since before 1066 and the manor was successively owned by the monks of Merton Priory, until the Dissolution, and then by the Hampson family in the 17th century, who came under attack during the Civil War.
In the 18th century, Taplow Court was the home of the Earls and Countesses of Orkney. The first Earl fought at the Battles of the Boyne and Blenheim and was appointed first British Field Marshall.
In the mid 19th century the house was given its present Jacobean-revival / French Gothic appearance by the architect William Burn.
At the turn of the 19th/20th centuries, the great sportsman, William Henry Grenfell and his wife Ettie, hosted gatherings of the elite, aristocratic social group, 'the Souls', here. Their eldest son, Julian Grenfell, one of the war poets, was killed in 1915.
After the Second World War, Taplow Court was owned by British Telecommunications Research and Plessey Electronics. SGI-UK came here in 1988. Today, the house and other buildings on site are used for courses and conferences ...
1811: The Thames -
Taplow House is an ancient edifice, belonging to the Earl of Orkney, the possessor,
also, of what once was Cliefden [a burnt out ruin at this date],
and is a very picturesque object on the southern point of the long range of woody hills,
whose northern and more elevated extremity was occupied by Cliefden.
The walks formed in the hanging woods, that fall from and adorn it, are of considerable extent; and from buildings judiciously placed in commanding points, or openings, tastefully made, as inlets to particular objects, the country is seen in various directions, and the circumstances of it selected into distinct pictures.
From an opening at the termination of the upper walk, what may now be called the mutilated brow of Cliefden, is seen across a woody chasm. In the bottom, the Thames appears divided into two branches, which form an island, whereon is distinguished the mansion of Sir George Young: beyond are the insulated grounds of Cookham House, the meads of Hedsor, and the rising country of Buckinghamshire.
The lower walk, in Taplow woods, though it loses the great expanse of prospect, acquires something better in the perspective distinctness of its objects. The extent of horizon is lost, but the partial glimpses of it from particular points, or through selected openings, which the hand of taste has curiously provided for particular scenes, produces in the mind a more composed delight.
From one shady seat, Windsor Castle appears insulated in foliage; and, from another, Eton College is seen in a similar frame-work of branching verdure.
But this is not all: many circumstances, both natural and accidental, which, from the higher stations, are either overlooked or involved in the wide circumference of prospect, acquire, from the more distinct and insulated view, an individual and interesting importance instead of being lost, as it were, in the extent of surface, over which the eye hurries with indiscriminating impatience. They become predominant features in the chosen landscape.
The mills, which stretch from the banks of the river to the islands, with their rushing waters; the farms and cottages that are scattered about the nearer part of the country ; the rural mansions which grace the shore, with all the navigating machinery of the stream, enliven, vary, and complete the prospect.
Taplow House was a place of confinement to the Princess Elizabeth [later Queen Elizabeth I], during the reign of her bigotted and tyrannic sister, Mary: and, in a predominating situation in the park, is a venerable oak, which tradition represents as having been planted by her during the period of her solitary residence at this place : but its present state of decay appears to suggest a much earlier period for its infant growth, if we may compare it with the Fairlop oak, and other trees of the same class, whose far greater antiquity has been clearly ascertained.
1840: Charles Mackay, "The Thames and its Tributaries" -
On the [right bank] of the river are the waving
woods of Taplow, hanging in picturesque
beauty over the stream, and associated in our
remembrance with the name of Elizabeth, who
during the reign of her sister, passed some time
in a sort of captivity in this place.
There is a large oak-tree in the park, which popular tradition, fond of attributing the origin of favourite trees to favourite personages, maintains to have been planted by that princess.
Taeppa’s Mound (or "Low") - [ and thus "Tap low" ]
A man-made burial mound or tumulus stands in the grounds of Taplow Court to the west of the village of Taplow, 1 mile east of Maidenhead, and to the north of the A4 and just east of the A4094 road. The site is close to the east bank of the River Thames. The Anglo-Saxon burial mound stands inside an old churchyard where there stood, upto 100 years ago, a Saxon church dating from c700 AD. The whole site is surrounded by the earthworks of an Iron-Age fortification which are now barely noticeable to visitors.
The grass-covered mound is 15 feet (4.5 metres) high and 80 feet (24 metres) in diameter at its base with a flatish top to it. In 1883 an archaeological excavation was carried out by the parish clerk who just so happened to be an antiquarian. He dug down into the mound for a few feet but nothing much was found; however, when a 6 foot hole was dug into the mound just below ground level, a burial was found. The funery finds consisted of a thigh bone and vertebrae inside a planked coffin in a pit with a gravel floor. The grave pit or chamber was 12 foot by 8 foot and was made out of timber. Along with the bones of Taeppa were his many grave goods, some quite rich and decorated, indicating that he was a person of noble lineage – probably a chieftain or prince. He may have been a relative of King Redwald of East Anglia who died in 617 or 625 AD and was buried at Sutton Hoo. The finds at Taeppa Low were dated to 620 AD.
Among the artefacts found during the excavation was a sword, spear, shields, gold buckle, bronze clasps, drinking horns with gilt ends, glass beakers, an Egyptian bronze bowl, drinking cups, fragments of a harp, some well-decayed cloth found on the bones and golden thread from his tunic – everything that he would need in the afterlife! These finds are now in the British Museum, London. We do not, however, know whether or not Taeppa was a Christian, certainly his relation King Redwald was an “on off Christian”, and this was before the area was Christianised by St Birinus twenty years later.
200 yards to the north-west of the mound is Bapsey Pond which is actually a holy well associated with St Birinus, bishop of Dorchester, who died in 650 AD. He baptised many converts at the well in 642 AD.
1901: The Thames Illustrated by John Leland
From Maidenhead to Boulter's lock ... the distance is but short. The green beauties of Raymead on one hand, with the sylvan glories of Glen Island in the midst, while the magnificent hanging woods of taplow and Cliveden are rising on the other.